- Posted October 7, 2013 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Shutdown over: What next?
Tea Party: Founding Fathers got it all wrong
So how Founding Fathers envisioned legislative process? Let’s look at simple process. First you take a bill and you introduce it in the House. You need 50%+1 of the House members to support the bill for it to be approved and move on to the Senate. In the senate you need 60 cooperating lawmakers to stand behind the bill to get it approved. If your bill succeeds in the Senate you need cooperating President elected by majority of U.S. Citizens and confirmed by minimum of 271 electoral votes in Electoral College. Once you get the signature on the bill it becomes the Law but it can still be challenged in the US Supreme Court. There you need at least 5 Justices to stand behind constitutionality of your bill for it to prevail. If you wished to amend or repeal the law you would need another bill that would need to fallow the same steps. At least this is what you’ve known, what you’ve been taught and how Founding Fathers envisioned it.
But it looks like Tea Party is on a quest to correct shortcomings of this process. Ongoing shutdown of Federal Government seems to be a tool in this quest.
So pay attention now and I will gladly explain what, according to Ted Cruz and Co. is missing from the process. Tea Party Verification. In the new process advocated by Tea Party, once you successfully complete all the steps designed by Founding Fathers and described above, you need to get a nod of approval from Tea Party. If you still think that you do not need Tea Party to give their blessings to your bill, they will shut down the government until you defund, delay or completely repeal the law they don’t favor. So now it is time to amend the Constitution and add Tea Party as a final decision maker.
Yes, I know that this is not how Democracy works, and yes one might find analogy to Iran’s Supreme Leadership but ask Ted Cruz and he will blast tis assumption to pieces.
Democrats’ job in explaining Obamacare has been so poor that it made it possible for Republicans to successfully scare Americans away from the Affordable Care Act. There goes my bow to to GOP because it is quite a job to present our old health laws in such a good light that people would want to go back to it. I have no doubt it was very good except not for the people – more for the insurance companies.
But this article is not about ACA. This article is about legislative process. Once again President Obama and Harry Reid fail to explain why they do what they do. “No negotiations” is once more a good catch phrase for Republicans to stick to and beat Dems with it (as noticed by Sen. Paul in recent conversation with Sen. McConnell). But this time Obama and Reid stand on the right principle, one that Founding Fathers devised and one that found its place front and center in US Constitution. You do not change the laws if you do not have votes in the House, AND the Senate AND President’s signature, all of them, by the way, elected in democratic process. You want to repeal ACA, go right ahead, take the issue to constituents, win enough seats in Congress, unseat the President and pass the repeal. Otherwise, you do know what we Americans do not do, if someone hijacks a plane. So why would we change this practice if someone hijacks the House of Representatives?
On that note, if you think about it, Hastert rule undermines democracy too. If you even have 55% seats in the House and 60% of your members oppose a vote but 40% and and entire other party supports a measure then 67% of all elected members would support a vote but under Hastert Rule there would be no vote. Decide for yourself if you can call this a working democracy.